Sunday, September 24

Closely watched Alzheimer’s study fails to prevent advance of disease

The Alzheimer’s drug crenezumab did not slow or prevent cognitive decline in a long-running study of Colombian families who carried a genetic mutation that put them at near certain risk to develop the mind-robbing disease.

The study of 252 people tested whether the pharmaceutical giant Roche’s antibody crenezumab could slow or halt the disease if participants took the medication before memory or thinking problems surfaced. But the drug did not demonstrate a significant benefit in tests measuring cognitive abilities or memory function among study participants, Roche said Thursday in a news release.

The widely anticipated study that began enrolling patients in 2013 sought to test the idea that Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented or delayed if otherwise healthy people took a medication years before developing memory and thinking problems. To that end, Roche teamed with researchers from Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the University of Antioquia in Colombia, who first identified the extended families with a rare genetic mutation that brought on Alzheimer’s disease early, usually when they were in their mid-40s.

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